HongYing 5 (HN-5) Shoulder-Fired Air Defence Missile
The HongYing 5 (or HN-5 in its export name) is China’s first-generation shoulder-launched air defence missile (also known as man-portable air-defence system, or MANPADS). The missile is generally a copy of the Russian 9K32M Strela-2 (NATO codename: SA-7 Grail) originally introduced in 1968. The missile entered service with the PLA ground forces in the early 1990s and has been equipped in significant numbers. The HongYing 5 series will be replaced by the more capable QW-series in the future.
China developed the HongYing 5 shoulder-launched air defence missile in the 1980s based on the 1960s-era Soviet 9K32M Strela-2 (SA-7) technology. Compared to the SA-7, the HongYing 5 has improved performance. The HN-5 is the first generation of Chinese shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile. China has also developed three improved variants including the HN-5A, which is said to have all-aspect attack capability and longer range; the HongYing 5B with further improved performance; and the vehicle-mounted variant HongYing 5C.
PLA troops practicing with the HongYing 5 (Chinese Internet)
The HongYing 5 entered service with the PLA in the early 1990s to provide ultra low-altitude, short-range air defence cover for the ground troops. It was also seen used onboard navy surface ships to provide the urgently needed air defence capability. The missile was produced in significant numbers in a range of variants, and was exported to many countries. A similar missile is produced in Pakistan in the name of Anza MK-1.
The HongYing 5 is only suitable in visible weather conditions. Early variant of the missile can attack jet aircraft from the tail aspect or attack helicopters from all aspects. Although classed as "fire and forget" types, like its origin SA-7, the HongYing 5 is easily overcome by solar heat and, when used in hilly terrain, by heat from the ground according to some test results. The missile is limited in range, speed, and altitude, however, it forces enemy pilots to fly above minimum radar limitations which results in detection and vulnerability to regimental and divisional air defence systems.
The system consists of the missile, a reusable tube launcher, and a thermal battery. The missile's seeker is fitted with a filter to reduce the effectiveness of decoying flares and to block IR emissions. An identification friend or foe (IFF) system can be fitted to the operators helmet.
System length: 1.508m
System weight: 15kg
Missile length: 1.423m (HN-5); 1.463m (HN-5A)
Missile diameter: 0.072m
Launch weight: 9.8kg
Propulsion: Single stage solid rocket
Operating altitude: 0.05~2.3km (HN-5); 0.05~2.5km (HN-5A)
Operating range: 0.5~4.2km (HN-5); 0.8~4.4km (HN-5A)
Max speed: 500m/s
Warhead: 0.5kg (HN-5); 0.6kg (HN-5A)
Reaction time: 5 seconds
Last update: 20 February 2009